Ashoka University Moves Classes Online to Maintain Academic Schedule
Given the Coronavirus pandemic in India, Ashoka University is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students as well as faculty. The university has extended its term break till the 31st of March and shifted all classes online starting Monday, 16th March to minimise disruption. Support services for students, such as the Office of Learning Support and the Centre for Well-Being, are also operating online. The University is equipped to continue hosting classes and providing other services online for a prolonged period of time, if deemed necessary.
Classes are being conducted through Google Meet and Zoom according to the same timetable that would have been followed for on-campus classes. To ensure every student has access, some classes are being held asynchronously as well so that the students can log in later in case of unreliable connectivity. Also, co-curricular course instructors are creating video lessons to enable students to continue their co-curricular programmes, links to which are being integrated in the LMS, which has been updated to have that facility.
The university has seen a high participation of students in the classes, with some classes signed in by nearly 200 students,and the number is expected to reach full capacity by the weekend.
Giving and receiving assignments through email has already been standard practice with many departments, particularly Humanities and Social Sciences. Where assessments have to be done differently, alternative formats are currently being worked out and will be finalized soon. The university is also working out methods to conduct mid-term examinations and have presentations of group projects online.
According to Ali Imran, Vice President – External Engagement, Ashoka University, “As Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by WHO, Ashoka University is taking all precautions for the safety of our students, faculty and staff while ensuring that there is no disruption in their academic schedule. Hence, we have moved all classes online, and the faculty is lecturing and making study material available virtually.”